Monthly Archives: September 2010

September 30, 2010
Electric MINI Scooter revealed

Set to appear at next week’s Paris Motor Show, the MINI Scooter E Concept arrives exactly 10 years after BMW unveiled its vision of a modern day MINI.

Designed by Adrian van Hooydonk of BMW, the Scooter E Concept comes in three interpretations, the first of which, inspired by the fashion of the 1960s, was launched at an exclusive London party last night.

The two-seater scooter features design details from the swinging Sixties, including a Union Jack, visible through the perforated leather of the seat, a circular instrument cluster and chrome trim.

Another two-seater scooter, borrowing design elements from MINI’s E hatchback prototype, will be shown at next week’s Paris Motor Show along with a single-seater “sporty” version finished in British Racing Green.

All Scooter Es are designed for what MINI calls the “young urban generation” and use a smart phone as the ignition key, so as to provide satnav, communication and entertainment in one hit, while also indicating where other members of the MINI Scooter community are riding, no doubt satisfying said “young urban generation’s” social networking needs.

An electric motor powers the rear wheel, and gets its energy from a compact lithium-ion battery. This is turn can be hooked up to any conventional power outlet.


September 29, 2010

Currently the DSA (Driving Standards Agency) publish all test routes for each test centre on their website however, they will no longer be doing this.

As we know the 4th October will see changes to the practical driving test, in which they will try to make it more representative of real-life driving. Drivers will be expected to make decisions for themselves without the prompt or help of the examiner, something they will have to do once they pass.

Previously instructors would be able to take learners around the test routes in preparation for their test, familiarising them with every roundabout and junction. This may relax the pupil and give them the confidence in which to pass, but that is not the role of a driving instructor, it is to teach somebody to be a safe and competent driver who can drive independently.

So when the new test routes are introduced on the 4th, instructors and pupils will no longer be able to access the routes online.

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September 28, 2010
UK car makers motoring ahead

BOOMING exports have helped UK car-makers motor ahead, with almost 78,000 vehicles rolling off production lines last month.

The figure was up a hefty 37% on last year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, with almost three-quarters of cars made here destined for forecourts abroad.

Manufacturers such as Land Rover, Honda, Nissan and Mini benefited from a 51% surge in exports last month, with demand being particularly strong from customers in the USA, China and India.

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said yesterday: “The UK is an important part of the global automotive industry, exporting cars, commercial vehicles and engines to markets around the world.”


September 27, 2010

If parents are going to be teachers they need to be taught themselves.

All drivers could do with refresher lessons especially if they are going to teach others to drive however, more and more parents are passing on their bad habits to their children. Bad habits such as approaching junctions to fast, travelling to close to the vehicle in front, not using their mirrors correctly or enough and poor observation.

It is good to gain as much road experience as possible and with economic times as they are, it is reasonable to expect learners to drive with their parents. Yet it is strongly recommended that learners take lessons with parents alongside lessons with a qualified driving instructor.

An updated understanding of the Highway Code and what driving examiners expect of you at the test centre is needed and there is a difference between being able to drive from A to B and being able to drive up to test standard, driving safely and competently.

Holly Harper of Britannia Driving School said: “So if you are going to take on the huge challenge of teaching your children how to drive, make sure you know how to first.”

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September 24, 2010

Road safety is paramount, yet poor attitude from drivers can often lead to road accidents.

Drivers of all ages, in particular young drivers need utmost concentration when driving. Yet many young drivers succumb to peer pressure and end up ferrying their friends around.

Passengers can be a real distraction, especially if the driver is keen to impress. This can often lead to the driver showing off and taking risks they would not normally take, such as overtaking, speeding, tailgating etc.

One simple act that many drivers don’t follow is wearing a seat belt. I am unsure what leads drivers to think they are invincible and don’t need to wear a seat belt, as I am sure nobody would go on a roller coaster and not strap themselves in however, many drivers do it.

Driving when tired is another simple thing to consider before sitting behind the wheel of a car, yet there have been cases where drivers have fallen asleep behind the wheel. Despite these extreme cases, driving whilst tired can impair your decision making.

Drugs whether they are legal or illegal, all impair our judgement and concentration which in turn affects our driving abilities. Don’t take illegal substances full stop and always check the label of any prescribed medication.

These things may seem obvious but are often forgotten and not just by young drivers but drivers of all ages. Motorists need to think not only about their own safety but the safety of other road users and pedestrians.

Holly Harper of Britannia Driving School said: “It doesn’t matter whether you are a learner, have just passed, been driving for years or even a driving instructor or examiner there is always room for improvement and additional training. There are pass plus courses for new drivers or refresher lessons for those that hold a full licence but haven’t driven for a while or feel they are no longer confident on the roads.”

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September 23, 2010
Record rise in the cost of motoring insurance

Car insurance premiums are being pushed up by almost a third due to rising levels of fraud, experts warned today.

The average comprehensive policy costs 30 per cent more this year than last, according to AA Insurance.

It is the biggest increase since the company’s records began 16 years ago, with younger drivers facing even steeper price rises.

Premiums for those under 30 have soared by 11.5 per cent in the last three months alone.

But the young have also been found more likely to make a false insurance claim.

A separate survey for found that 5 per cent of motorists under 35 have staged an accident to make a fraudulent claim and 15 per cent would consider doing so.

The Association of British Insurers recently said that insurers uncovered £410million-worth of fraudulent motor insurance claims during 2009 – and the AA said increased fraud is a central reason for rising premiums.

Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, said: ‘The evidence from, suggesting that thousands of people are attempting to try “cash for crash” scams themselves – perhaps to get someone else to pay for past damage or to make a claim for non-existent whiplash injury – is deeply worrying.’

The group said other types of fraud, such as fronting, where a named driver is in fact the main driver, withholding information, and lying about where a car is kept or what the driver’s occupation as, were all also on the rise.

But Mr Douglas said insurers were getting ‘wise’ to the way fraudsters can manipulate price comparison sites and introducing new technology to catch them.


September 22, 2010

Research has shown that the most popular car colours are Silver and Black.

Despite virtually any colour available, we still tend to choose the same colours, which in turn makes silver and black cars easier to sell and at a better price.

Manufacturers follow suit and as a result provide up to four shades of silver on most models.

Yet despite silver coming out on top, certain cars appeal in very particular colours, for example: a van will generally come in white, a Ferrari in red and a Lamborghini in a bright colour such as yellow, orange or green.

Holly Harper of Britannia Driving School said: “Next time you are out and about, check out the cars in the car park or on the roads and see what colour rules the roads.”

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September 21, 2010
Mr Loophole drives home a hard lesson

Lawyer Nick Freeman is notorious for using legal loopholes to successfully defend celebrity clients accused of motoring offences. But Mr Loophole, as he is nicknamed, last week refused to use his expertise to get his daughter off a speeding charge.

Sophie, 19, was caught doing 63mph in a 50mph zone – but Freeman said he wouldn’t help her because “every fibre of my parental instinct told me that Sophie had to understand the consequences of breaking the law.” Here are some of his more fortunate clients.


September 20, 2010

Facebook user Richard Gardner has over 25,000 supporters in his quest to get TomTom to allow actor Brian Blessed to be the voiceover on our sat navs.

Initially he attracted only a few supporters but his page soon took off and Mr Gardner has approached TomTom who agreed to look into it. His voice will now be available to download from October.

Other famous voices will be considered by TomTom and there are designated pages on social media sites such as twitter which allow the public to leave comments and suggestions as to who they want to hear give directions.

Who would you want to hear give you your directions?

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September 17, 2010

Around two-thirds of the world drives on the right hand side. So why does Britain drive on the left.

It is thought that road traffic did begin on the left and there is evidence to support this that dates back from Roman times. However, the first legal order for traffic to remain on the left was in 1756. When people were on horseback as the majority of people are right-handed it made sense to ride on the left, so as to meet their attacker on their strong side.

However, countries began changing to the right side, one myth suggesting that as Napoleon was left handed his troops had to march on the right and countries that Napoleon conquered then switched to the right.

The last European country to switch from the left to the right was Sweden in 1967. Although the EC would like for Britain to change, the cost and disruption to change everything would be detrimental.

Research has shown that countries that drive on the left have lower collision rates than those on the right. It is also safer for cyclists who mount on the left, as this then places them on the kerb as opposed to the road.

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Driving School by using the comments link below: